Portsmouth school hopes for cash for young cyclists

REQUEST Niel McLeod
REQUEST Niel McLeod
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MP PENNY Mordaunt has written to Portsmouth City Council’s chief executive urging him to bid for a share of a £11m cycling scheme to help schoolchildren use the roads safely.

The Portsmouth North representative made her plea to David Williams following discussions with the head of Miltoncross Niel McLeod who has raised concerns about the lack of provision for older children.

In 2009 and 2010, the 973-pupil secondary in Milton received enough funding to give 60 11-year-olds cycling proficiency lessons.

This year, however, there has been no funding available, and residents have reported some 14 and 15-year-olds cycling dangerously by weaving between slow-moving traffic or hopping on and off the pavements.

Mr McLeod said: ‘Pupils’ cycling behaviour changes as they get older – we’d like to have greater provision for all of our year groups, and more appropriate training for different ages.

‘The older students are much more into risk taking – it would be an idea to integrate training into cycling-related sports like BMX racing.’

Miss Mordaunt said: ‘I can’t see why the council wouldn’t wish to pursue this. It’s a great idea.’

A council spokesman confirmed Miss Mordaunt’s letter had been received and said Mr Williams would be responding in due course.